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April 18, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-18

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OPINION
Page 4 Monday, April 18, 1988 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 134 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

Birth of resistance: the FDR

U.S. policyU (
ONCE THREATENED WITH public
embarrassment in Panama, the Reagan
administration did not hesitate to im-
T~ose crushing sanctions in hopes of
ousting General Manuel Antonio Nor-
iega. The same administration refuses
to consider levying comprehensive
sanctions against the government of
South Africa. At best the Reagan ad-
ministration's policy objectives are in-
consistent.
After Noriega's drug smuggling and
(racketeering charges were announced
a-nd President Delvalle was deposed,
the U.S. decided on a two-stage plan
for sanctions. They first froze.$50 mil-
lion of Panamanian assets in U.S.
banks, then ordered the $7 million in
revenue owed to Panama for the
Panama Canal placed in an escrow ac-
count. Not only has the U.S. economic
pressure paralyzed Panama's economic
institutions, but it has directly harmed
poor and working class Panamanians.
Reagan's aim in continuing the cash-
flow crisis is to "contribute significantly
to the goal of a democratic, stable and
prosperous Panama." So what are the
administration's contributions to a
democratic, stable, and prosperous
South Africa?
The administration's rhetoric regard-
irig South Africa calls for a.
"progressive" force for change through
Reagan's constructive engagement pol-
icy. This policy embodies the Presi-
dent's belief that the U.S. must build
institutions in South Africa to facilitate
change towards true democracy. Con-
trary to its stated objectives, this policy
Say no to

*" *"
ontradiCtions
has only served to reinforce the
oppressive white government. This
policy must end.
Congress and the administration jus-
tify supporting the Botha regime with
the strategic mineral deposits located in
South Africa. The administration claims
that these are necessary for U.S. na-
tional defense. If one accepts these bo-
gus explanations, it would appear as
though the United States cannot afford.
to break with South Africa. In reality,
there are alternative sources and prac-
tices available which the Reagan ad-
ministration ignores.
The administration contends that eco-
nomic sanctions will harm the Black
majority. But in pursuing their goal of
Noriega's departure, the administration
has created an economic disaster in
Panama similar to that which they fear
to provoke in South Africa. Their
preachy rhetoric does not stand up to
their practiced policy.
Black leaders in South Africa
desperately want sanctions. .It is
precisely the damage to the South
African economy which a U.S. pullout
would cause that resistance leaders of
all political persuasions wish to
achieve. The injustices of apartheid are
so abhorrent that short-term sacrifices
are demanded. for the sake of
democratic refonm.
The Reagan administration has not
divested because it would contradict its
corporate-oriented ideology, not to
mention its racist devaluation of mi-
norities. The administration is culpable
for the brutality of apartheid.

By Brian Bard
Today is the eighth anniversary of a key
event in the struggle toward peace and
justice in El Salvador: April 18, 1980 the
Democratic Revolutionary Front (FDR)
was formed. The FDR is an alliance of
progressive political parties which advo-
cate the rights of peasants, workers, and
students - it opposes the U.S. backed
Salvadoran government.
El Salvador is a about the size of Mas-
sachusetts and has population of about 4.8
million; this tiny country is third largest
recipient of U.S. aid in the world. Since
Ronald Reagan became president the gov-
ernment of El Salvador has received over 3
billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer's money,
and last year the U.S. funded well over
half the national budget of El Salvador -
75% of that budget going directly to the
military. In El Salvador it is a crime to
organize for the respect of basic human
rights. The constant, violent oppression
by the Salvadoran government against the
people of El Salvador is well documented.
That 7000 civilians have been
"disappeared" as a result of their political
stands since 1980 is only one indication of
this oppression.
The current president of the FDR,
Guillermo Ungo, and the current President
of El Salvador, Jose Napoleon Duarte,
were running-mates in the 1972 national
elections. They easily won the popular
vote, but the military quickly seized
power. In 1979 Ungo, Duarte, and others
formed a civilian-military junta to rule El
Salvador. Within two months it became
obvious to Ungo and Duarte that the junta
consisted of civilians only to give it a
democratic face while the military retained
total control. While Duarte was content to
act as a military puppet, Ungo was not;
Bard is a member of MSA Peace and
Justice Committee. The statement is also
endorsed by UCAR, LASC, and the World
Hunger Education and Action Committee.

eight years ago today, Ungo left the
Christian Democrats to form the FDR and
continue the popular struggle for social
justice in El Salvador.
In 1980 the FDR formed an alliance
with the Farabundo Marti National
Liberation Front (FMLN) and together
they put forth a strong demand for a polit-
ical solution to the war. The FMLN is a
coalition of five political/military organi-
zations which formed in October 1980.
The members of the FMLN are workers,
peasants, and students who came to see
that the military would not allow its
power to be diminished through peaceful
means and who seek a society which is
just to all. The FMLN's strategy includes
political organizing and diplomatic initia-
tives as well as military operations. The
FMLN obtains weapons through its own
resources P 2 by making them
(Washington Post, 3/23/88), by overrun-
ning major military garrisons, by taking
them from captured government soldiers,
and by purchasing them from the U.S.
supported contras.
The popular support of the FMLN is
everywhere evident. In 1981 the FMLN
had operated in 3 of El Salvador's 14 de-
partments. The U.S. has poured billions
into trying to stop the FMLN over the
last seven years, yet today the FMLN has
strong support in all 14 departments and
controls one third of El Salvador. From
February 22 to 25 the FMLN called a na-
tional transportation stoppage to protest
the March Legislative Assembly and
Mayoral elections. The strike succeeded in
halting transportation throughout the en-
tire country, a feat which would obviously
be impossible without the people's sup-
port.
In October, 1987 the people of El Sal-
vador demonstrated in huge numbers in
support of the FMLN/FDR. Under intense
international scrutiny for the human rights
abuses of his government, Duarte agreed
to sit down to negotiate with the
FMLN/FDR on October 6. After this an-
nouncement the National Unity of Sal-
vadoran Workers (UNTS) - the broadest
based coalition of labor unions, coopera-

tives, human rights organizations, student,
refugees, and the unemployed in EL Sal-
vador, which represents over 350,000
people - mobilized over 40,000 people
to rally in support of the FMLN/FDR's
goals for the peaceful resolution of the
civil war. The people stayed for four days
and their speakers, their banners, and their
leadership stood entirely behind the plat-
form of the FMLN/FDR.
The reasons why the FMLN/FDR
formed are still present, and have gotten
steadily worse. The repression has in-
creased considerably, unemployment has
increased, health care has deteriorated, and
the education system has regressed enor-
mously. Human rights abuses against
civilians are perpetrated as a matter of
daily routine in El Salvador. Any person
who takes a stand for justice is a target for
kidnapping, torture, and death. Students in
El Salvador are constantly threatened and
often eliminated. For example, on March
15, 1988 the University of El Salvador's
Eastern campus was invaded by the Trea-
sury Police and the National Guard; on
March 17, two active members of the Na-
tional Student Association in El Salvador
disappeared; on April 6 Daniel Pena, a
student at-the Santa Anna campus of the
UES was captured; on April 10 the student
government office on the Santa Anna
campus was ransacked and $5000 was
stolen. These atrocities are typical and
constantly affect the lives of peasants,
workers, and students in El Salvador.
These abuses occur with our nominal
consent and our money. If we do not speak
out on this issue we declare to the world
our support of oppression. On October 20,
1988 the University of Michigan forged
sister university ties with the University
of El Salvador as one way to signal our
support for the oppressed Salvadorans. If
we believe systematic violence against
peaceful civilians is wrong we should
support the forces fighting such violence.
In El Salvador one of those forces is the
FDR. 'Today, in the Fishbowl, we will
sign a birthday card for the FDR and share
a birthday cake to celebrate their successes
and give them the support they deserve.

01

I

LAST FRIDAY, United Farm Workers
President Cesar Chavez visited the uni-
versity to promote the UFW's national
boycott of table grapes. These efforts
to enforce the boycott draw attention to
the use of toxic pesticides in agriculture
and to the plight of the workers who
must handle these deadly poisons on a
regular basis.
Table grapes were chosen because of
the extent to which pesticides are used
on them. According to Chavez, over
1000 tons of the most dangerous pesti-
cides and toxins are used on California
grapes every year, and that by the time
they reach the local supermarket, there
is simply too much residue on them to
be completely washed off. According
to a study conducted by the National
Academy for Sciences, these residues
may be responsible for 20,000 cancer
cases each year.
While the risks to consumers may be
indisputable, they pale in comparison
to those that face the workers who are
directly exposed to the poisons every
day. In a statement released by Ameri-
cans for Safe Food, an estimated
45,000 poisonings annually among
farm workers can be attributed to the
use of pesticides. Chavez said that the
workers don't know what they are
spraying, but "when the foremen sud-
denly leave, they know it's danger-
ous."
Cases of workers entering recently-
sprayed fields and falling victim to
pesticide concentrations are common.
Shanty again
A SHANTY was constructed
Wednesday to show solidarity with the
plight of the Palestinians and their need
for a homeland. Palestinians are
currently repressed politically,
physically, and economically in the
East and West Bank and the Gaza strip.
Land and water rights are unequally
distributed in territories occupied by
Israel. In Gaza, for example, one-third
of the land is reserved for 2,400
Zionist settlers while 750,000
Palestinians are left with 62,000 acres
out of a total of 90,000 acres. The
Palestinians do not have enough water

tale grapes
California Governor George Deukmei-
jian recently vetoed by a bill which
would require California grape growers
to mark fields after spraying in order to
allow the pesticides to break down and
disperse. Deukmeijian's rationale was
that the growers could not afford the
signs.
The UFW faces a powerful agri-
business lobby aligned with the Deuk-
meijian administration, a coalition de-
termined to prevent the investigation
and ban of pesticide use. In addition,
attempts by the farm workers to
unionize have been put down with
and strong-arm tactics paid for by the
growers and ignored by the state's
government.
Boycotts have proven themselves
useful in mandating change. In 1965,
the UFW organized a successful boy-
cott of grapes against the nationwide
use of DDT, a proven poison, and in
1978, consumers boycotted Campbells
Soup, a major purchaser of agronomic
and vegetable crops produced in the
California valley and harvested by mi-
grant labor. The demands were on
Campbells to pressure the producers
into better working conditions and
higher pay.
Compliance with the boycott of Cali-
fornia table grapes will ensure a big
success against pesticide use and will
have nationwide effects. In the words
of Chavez, "It's up to the consumers
now. The politicians will come after the
problem is solved."

Homosexuals deserve rights

By Jim Randall
LaGROC (Lesbian and Gay Rights Or-
ganizing Committee) and several dedicated
individuals, like myself, have fought to let
the University know that a large, strong
and proud homosexual community lives
on this campus. Our efforts to help end
discrimination by including sexual
orientation in the non-discriminatory
policies of the University have been heard,
yet are rejected unsympathetically.
Over the past few weeks I have con-
tacted every regent to discover why each
has rejected the inclusion of "sexual
orientation" in the regental non-discrimi-
natory bylaw 14.06. The Presidential pol-
icy statement, enacted by the adminis-
tration supposedly to protect homosexu-
als, is completely inadequate because it
separates us from the ranks of other mi-
norities. I refuse, as a gay male, to accept
separate status. Never, concerning issues
of civil rights, has separate meant equal.
Unfortunately, the regents do not under-
stand this struggle for basic human rights.
Regent Brown said that "it's not the pur-
pose [of the bylaw] to include every mi-
nority that can be discriminated against."
After first refusing to enter into what Re-
gent Nielson called a "philosophical dis-
cussion" with me, he added that "it's not
appropriate [for homosexuals] to be in-
cluded in the bylaw." Two of the regents
tried a different approach: Regent Baker
implied that the issue was not important
by refusing to discuss it and Regent
Varner simply hung up on me.
There is no more "appropriate" place to
protect rights than in the non-discrimina-
tory policies of the University. Inadver-
tently, Regent Roach recognized how
"appropriate" this amendment is to the
bylaw is by saying; "Yes, that's right.
University policies allow for discrimina-
tion against homosexuals." It's too bad
Jim Randall is a pseudonym, used. to
protect the identity of the writer.

that he and his colleagues refuse to recog-
nize that they are the ones who could end
this discrimination.
The most common argument given for
not including "sexual orientation" in the
bylaw centered around the "function" of
the bylaw. According to Regent Powers
the "function of that bylaw is to reflect the
existing [non-discriminatory] law of the
land." Many other regents agreed with him
saying that if "you fix national and state
law, you'll get the bylaw amended."
[Regent Roach] A few even suggested
ending the struggle here on campus and
concentrate work on a state or federal level
to have homosexuals protected in those
nort-discriminatory laws. According to
Powers, including sexual orientation in
bylaw 14.06 would be to no longer
"preserve the integrity of the bylaw".
It wasn't until Regent Roach told me
that "we [the Regents] are not autonomous
on issues of civil rights," that I thought I
had reached a dead end. According to him,
since sexual orientation is not included at
the state or federal level it could not be
included at the university level. However,
after contacting the A.C.L.U. [American
Civil Liberties Union] and the legislation
officer at M.O.H.R. [Michigan Organiza-
tion for Human Rights], Bob Lund, I
learned that Regent Roach was entirely
incorrect. Local jurisdictions are not pre-
empted on issues of civil rights. [Cavinaw
vs. the city of Detroit] The university, as
a constitutionally created body, is au-
tonomous to include, but not to exclude,
specific minority groups in their non-dis-
criminatory policies. This fact accounts
for the inclusion of sexual orientation in
the bylaws of several universities across
the country, including some colleges in
Michigan (MSU, Wayne State, and oth-
ers). Even our city of Ann Arbor has en-
acted policies which prohibit discrimina-
tion against homosexuals.
Why, then, did the regents choose to
exclude sexual orientation from the bylaw?
I thought it may have had something to do
with lack of support from the people.

However, this is entirely untrue. Accord-
ing to Regent Waters "most of Ann Arbor
was in favor of putting- it in." In fact,
when asked about community response,
all the regents replied that while only a
few letters opposed the amendment there
was an overwhelming amount of support
for it. Regent Smith commented that she
had even received letters of support from
state politicians. In addition to this sup-
port, the Department of Civil Rights en-
couraged the University in writing to "take
a leadership stance" on civil rights protec-
tion for lesbians and gay men.
After I explained the importance of
amending the bylaw, Regent Roach said:
"I see your point logically, but I'm not
willing to stick my neck out on this one.".
However, it took the blunt honesty of
Regent Smith to make me see the truth of
the matter. She stated: "if we wanted to...
we could have". It's clear that the other
regents, despite their unwillingness to be
frank, wpuld agree with Smith when she
said "it's my judgement, it's just the way
I feel... If it came to a vote again, I would
vote the same way".
It's unfortunate that these eight individ-
uals could make a "judgement" opposing
the will of the community they represent.
It's worse that they continue to uphold
policies that discriminate against approx-
imately 5,200 lesbians and gay men on
this campus. By deciding not to include
homosexuals in the bylaw they have made
a conscious decision to exclude us. This
blatant display of institutionalized ho-
mophobia sends a message to the Univer-
sity community, one that can only lead to
more discrimination against homosexuals.
In fact, one regent replied in anger: "Well,
sexual orientation isn't included in the
Affirmative Action.logo either." That's
just the problem. We, as gay men and
lesbians, deserve to be protected from dis-
crimination. We deserve the rights granted
to other people. The homosexual commu-
nity in Ann Arbor is too large and too
proud to be walked on.

ist oppression
Gaza, 350,000 Palestinians have
served time in prison over the last 20
years. Recently, Israeli laws have
allowed for the incarceration o f
Palestinians without a trial and Israeli
authorities have admitted imprisoning
over 3,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails.
The recent uprisings are the result of
intense frustration over Palestinian
rights and self-determination. The
majority of Palestinians do not have the
right to vote or any voice in the state
which rules them.
Between December 20th and April
16th, 161 Palestinians have been killed

LETTERS:

Revolutionary Worker' s

League

fascist like Nazis

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